Three games played, one draw, two defeats, one point on the board and languishing in 18th place in the table: I could easily be describing the plight of one of the newly promoted teams. Instead, this is the current predicament of Liverpool, the second most successful English team in history.
That Premier League newcomers Reading and Norwich currently sit above them in the table really puts things into perspective, as does this stark fact – if last season’s Premier League had begun on January 1st and ended in May, Liverpool would be competing this season in the Championship.
When new manager Brendan Rodgers took control of the reigns after the unceremonious sacking of “King Kenny”, what he really needed to do was buy a couple of world class forwards to send Liverpool back in the other direction and compete for Champions League football, a competition they have been no where near now for two years.
Instead, what he has done is put the club in a poorer position than where they were last season by moving on three strikers in the mould of Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Andy Carroll, and then replacing none of them.
It was a decision so perplexing that it is almost laughable; that Liverpool now purely rely on the services of Luis Suarez is dangerous. God forbid something should happen to him. A lengthy spell on the sidelines and then what? Where on earth are the goals going to come from? Liverpool are yet to score at home this season, and have managed only two on the road so far with, lo and behold, Suarez getting one of them.
Worryingly, after a trip to Switzerland for the first group game in the Europa League against BSC Young Boys, Liverpool then take on Manchester United.
This was a tie that Liverpool fans used to relish, particularly when it was at their “fortress” Anfield. But how confident can their supporters really claim to be after watching their side slump to a 0-2 defeat at home last time out to, lets face it, one of the poorest Arsenal sides in Arsene Wenger’s tenure, a team who in spite of losing their talisman, team captain and last season’s top goal scorer were still able to come away with an easy win.
Before that came a 2-2 draw with Man City, a result that may have been respectable but for the Reds unforgivably throwing away the lead after Martin Skirtel inexplicably passed back toward goal only for Tevez to latch onto it to equalize at the death.
Then of course there was the ever so humiliating 3-0 capitulation at the hands of West Brom.
Next up is Sunderland, a team which has been revitalised under Martin O’Neill and claimed four points off Premier League Champions Manchester City last season. Add to that the fact that the Anfield club have only won three of their last 12 away games, whilst Sunderland have only lost two of their last 12 home games and it makes for grim reading for a Liverpool fan.
If indeed they do lose against Sunderland, it will be their worst start to a season in over a hundred years. In 1903-04 they lost all four of their opening games. That season they finished 17th in the old Division One and were relegated.
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This article was first posted on September 14, 2012